Overhead view of a master-planned community Overhead view of a master-planned community

Where the good life grows

Land is a non-renewable resource that is vital to our business. Whether redeveloping a brownfield or developing a greenfield for the first time, we employ every measure to ensure the sustainable development of properties and efficient use of land. We are committed to taking our environmental and social impacts into consideration at every point during the development process.

Reclaiming a historic site


tons concrete reused onsite


historic buildings preserved and incorporated


acre master planned community

A storied and refreshed perspective

One of our most unique residential developments, The Groves in Whittier exemplifies our innovative approach to reuse and historical preservation. The development sits on 75 acres that for 113 years was home to the Fred C. Nelles Correctional Facility for Boys. The facility is a registered California Historical Landmark and closed in 2004 after a lifetime of changes. The property was first acquired by the State of California in the 1890s, which operated the facility as a home and reform school for wayward youth. When extensive upgrades required to keep the facility viable were found to cost more than the facility was worth, the state closed the prison in 2004. Brookfield Properties acquired the site in 2018.

Interior of a renovated building Interior of a renovated building

A new neighborhood that honors the past

The design for the project intertwines sustainable development with cultural preservation. Four of the original 82 buildings on the property will be preserved and feature prominently in the finished community. Nelles’ superintendent and assistant superintendent’s residences, and the administration building will be repurposed and reused for the community’s commercial area that consists of shops, dining, and personal services. With its lofty arches preserved, the correctional facility’s chapel/commissary is re-envisioned as the development’s community center. 

Unfortunately, the gymnasium could not be preserved in its location nor moved due to structural integrity issues. However, the building will be rebuilt at a third of the size of the original as a mini replica. The replica is to be built alongside the three preserved buildings and will be used as a food hall, creating a unique and historical placemaking experience. 

Alongside historical preservation considerations, the land was prepared incorporating sustainable design practices. Any materials that could not be reused or incorporated were donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Cleared vegetation was mulched to be reused offsite, while concrete and asphalt were crushed and used as a base for the development’s new streets, eliminating the need to truck it offsite. In total, approximately 60,000 tons of concrete were crushed and reused onsite.